Friday, 20 July 2012

20th July 1812: General Maitland informs the Home Office that the tactics employed in Cheshire are working

Manchester
20th July 1812

My dear Sir

I some little time ago, stated, to Lord Sidmouth that I was trying the Experiment of keeping a small Bodies of the Military constantly moving about the most disturbed Parts of this Country, “to Wit” The corner of Cheshire between Stockport and Ashton.

I have not been deceived in my expectation of the result of this Measure for in a long conversation I had this morning with the Magistrates, I find that part of the Country is perfectly quiet, that confidence is proportionally increased, and that what has hitherto been the very want, has now become a very peaceable part of the Country.

I shall in future pursue the same line wherever there may be occasion, and I am convinced it will be attended with equally good effects.

I had this day, for the first time, a long conversation myself with Barrowclough; he is either a very deep, or a very shallow person indeed, in my own Mind, he appears to me to be decidedly the last, and I do not think we can ever expect, to get any important informations out of him.

In general, he persists extremely in his Story of the Arms, which were searched for without effect, and in his Story, of the four Men paying them Monthly.

I certainly believe there may be some truth in both statements, but by no means to the extent, he would wish to make out, all that I am perfectly convinced of, from his information is, that near Holmfirth, where he was seized, Numbers had been Twisted in, but if any thing from every information I am more and more convinced in the Opinion I have stated some time ago to Lord Sidmouth, that there is no Head in all this, that it is confined to the very lowest orders of the People, and that it will be got under, if the Magistrates will act with Vigour under the Provisions of the New Bill.

I have got two Men at Halifax apparently going on very well, if they will only be quiet, but they think they do a great deal if they can get Twisted in, whereas that is just the Commencement of their being of any real use, they were sworn in, by a Master Hatter, and I dare say in a Week, we shall hear more of them, they state that part of the Country to be very bad.

Buckley the Man I am particularly anxious to get hold of, has hitherto escaped, the last Accounts we had of him, was a Bradford, to which Place he was followed, but had gone off, as he said himself to Scotland.

Every thing here is perfectly quiet, they have just opened however Petitions for Peace and Parliamentary Reform, which are signing by those Notoriously connected, with the late disturbances.

I am[etc]

T Maitland

Turn over.

P.S.

In respect to the Person stated by Sir Charles Saxton as having worked at Millard’s Mill near Stockport, there is no such Mill & no such Person known, but there is an Idea, upon which I shall write you tomorrow, that he is a man of the name of Roonnie, who is known here, to the Police, and whose discription and Character I am now getting, when I have it, to save time, I shall take the liberty of writing to Dublin upon the Subject.

[To] John Beckett Esqr.
&c &c &c
Whitehall

This letter can be found at HO 42/125.

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